Grounded in Freedom: Online Retreat

May 6 – 8, 2022

Viewing freedom as intrinsic to our being, we discover that our lives are what we make them.

Knowledge of Freedom

Experiential webinar retreat

Based on Knowledge of Freedom and The Joy of Being by Tarthang Tulku

Led by Abbe Blum, Hugh Joswick, and Elske van de Hulst
May 6 – 8, 2022

We live out our lives in an unceasing stream of change. Nothing stands still, within or without: we and everything in our world pulse with the heartbeat of time. Each new moment arises as an uncertainty, an unknown as vast as the moment before the universe came into being, as deeply significant and full of potential as the moment before our own birth. Can we learn to live with the potential for freedom and change without reflexively seeking stability and freezing experience into sameness and repetition?

In this retreat we will challenge the patterns of mind that tend to keep us imprisoned to the known. We will practice with reflections, exercises and contemplation that open our awareness to the infinite potential of each moment. Through relaxation and inquiry we can learn to calm our fear of the unknown and learn to see that the key to unlocking the prison doors lies within us — maybe so close at hand that it is deceptively easy to overlook.

We will work with guided meditations, contemplations, and exercises that open body, mind, and senses to their wider potential. There will also be reading and writing assignments, as well as practices to explore in daily life between retreat sessions.

As we release the tension of perception, description, and possession, we move further, beyond tension, beyond even the faintest tones of feeling by letting feelings dissipate into awareness like clouds thinning in the sunlight and trailing off into space.

Joy of Being


Retreat Schedule

Three 3-hour webinar sessions, held through Zoom, comprise the offerings of the retreat weekend. Each session includes a 20-minute break halfway through. 

Participants will be invited to experiment with specific explorations between retreat sessions. Days 2 and 3 will begin with short exchanges about these explorations. 

  • Friday, May 6:  10 am – 1 pm, PT  (19:00 – 22:00 hrs CET)
  • Saturday, May 7: 10 am – 1 pm, PT  (19:00 – 22:00 hrs CET)
  • Sunday, May 8:  10 am – 1 pm, PT  (19:00 – 22:00 hrs CET)

Check for your local time zone. 

We encourage participants to organize a quiet space for private practice, and to ensure reliable internet access in that place.

Retreat Faculty

 The Opening to Knowledge Retreat will be led by three long-term students of Tarthang Tulku.

Abbe Blum is a long time student of Tarthang Tulku and a seasoned teacher, presenting Kum Nye, Lotus Trilogy and Nyingma Psychology at Nyingma Institute and Dharma College, both in Berkeley. She worked as one of the editors on several of Rinpoche’s latest books. She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from Cambridge University, England, where she was a Marshall scholar, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Yale University. As an Associate Professor at Swarthmore College, she taught Shakespeare and intensive writing seminars, and she currently teaches in the School of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry at Saybook University. 

Photo of Hugh Joswick

Hugh Joswick, Ph.D., has been studying and practicing at Nyingma Institute under Tarthang Tulku’s senior students since the mid-1990’s. He has also co-edited several books under the close direction of Tarthang Tulku, including Caring and the Lotus Trilogy books.

He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, and a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has taught philosophy at the university level and is currently the Managing Editor of Mangalam Press, the publishing arm of Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, which focuses primarily on scholarly works in the fields of Buddhist and Religious Studies.

Hugh brings a gentle approach and skillful style of inquiry to his teaching.

Elske van de Hulst worked in the theatre as an actress, director and author, between 1969 and 1995. She taught at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten and for many years was a member of the Dutch Arts Council. In 1998 she started studying the theatre of the mind, guided by Tarthang Tulku’s books, and has not stopped since. She is now a co-dean at Nyingma Centrum Nederland and teaches Knowledge of Freedom, Revelations of Mind and Lotus Trilogy teachings in Amsterdam and elsewhere.


Advance purchase of the books is warmly recommended. You will enjoy their wisdom also after this retreat. Knowledge of Freedom and The Joy of Being by Tarthang Tulku are available at